Fall 2020

Reading Asian American

Moodle site: Course


Robert T. Hayashi (Section 01)


In this course, we explore the genesis and influence of terms defining peoples of Asian descent in America and especially the contemporary panethnic ascription: Asian American. We will examine the material impact of such labels and analyze what characteristics have defined a group, individual, or text as Asian American. How well does Asian American operate as an umbrella term to define peoples of vastly heterogeneous histories, identities, and cultural backgrounds? Or to define realms of intellectual inquiry, social practice, and government policy? These are some of the key questions that will guide our conversations and engagement with materials over the course of the semester.
This class is highly interdisciplinary and includes readings in literature, history, sociology, American Studies, and education; and includes the study of visual materials, especially photographs. Course meetings will involve seminar-style discussion of course materials, guest speakers, training sessions, and lectures. Coursework will include short written assignments, research assignments, substantial group collaborative work, and a self-designed semester-long research project.

Students will have regular individual conferences with the instructor, interface with various support services on campus, as well as alumni who have taken the course in prior years.

Fall semester. Professor Hayashi.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020